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View Full Version : AFC North: Let's go with the jaw-dropping choice



DIESELMAN
09-04-2007, 09:44 PM
It got to them, like it had to so many before. The Super Bowl hangover is a malady that inflicts many, and rarely is there a cure.

The Pittsburgh Steelers got a severe case of it in 2006. After winning the Super Bowl in February that year, the Steelers came apart.

Their quarterback had a motorcycle accident that nearly killed him, followed that up with an appendectomy right before the start of the season and then suffered a serious head injury in the game against Atlanta.

The defense, a Steelers staple, struggled to get to the quarterback. Pressure, a must in their 3-4, wasn't what it needed to be.

Considering all that, the 8-8 record is impressive. But they didn't make the playoffs and that was followed up by the retirement of coach Bill Cowher.

Mike Tomlin takes over coach, and what he inherits is a heck of a football team, with many of the same parts that won the Super Bowl still on board.

"It's not like we're an entirely different team," Steelers corner Deshea Townsend said. "We're still pretty much the same team."

There are changes, some good.

With Cowher gone after 15 seasons, Tomlin brings a different type of approach. His training camp was far more physical than those of his predecessor. And Tomlin has handed over the offense over to Bruce Arians, whose plan is to play more up-tempo.

That might seem strange in a city known for a blue-collar team, but it's the right move for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

He will excel in the new system, which will include some no-huddle and more spread formations on early downs. That offense should help create plenty of cracks and crevices for speedy Willie Parker to hit the big-play run.

Arians, who was the team's receivers coach, said the idea is to be more aggressive and to take away from of the predictability in the offense. He likes the way Roethlisberger has taken to the offense.

"He's comfortable with it," Arians said.

On defense, the Steelers let Joey Porter go, and that was a wise thing. He played a pass-rush position and had 5 1/2 sacks. They need more from that spot. Look for James Harrison, Clark Haggans and rookie LaMarr Woodley all to exceed that total this season.

Aside from the coach and a few faces here and there, this Pittsburgh team isn't much different from the one that owned the Super Bowl two seasons ago. With the new offensive style, look for them to get close again. They are the team to beat in the AFC North, which is a good division.

The Baltimore Ravens are the trendy pick, some even picking them to win the Super Bowl after their 13-3 season in 2006. But the pick here is for the Steelers to return to the playoffs by winning this division.

The Mike Tomlin era will get off to a good start.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Steelers (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/PIT) 2006: 8-8 http://images.sportsline.com/images/nfl/features/helmets/PIT.gif (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/PIT) Pts Scored: 353

Pts Allowed: 315 Off. Yds/G: 357.8 Def. Yds/G: 300.3
Give/Take:-8
2. Ravens (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/BAL) 2006: 13-3 http://images.sportsline.com/images/nfl/features/helmets/BAL.gif (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/BAL) Pts Scored: 353
Pts Allowed: 201 Off. Yds/G: 317.0 Def. Yds/G: 264.1
Give/Take: +17
3. Bengals (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/CIN) 2006: 8-8 http://images.sportsline.com/images/nfl/features/helmets/CIN.gif (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/CIN) Pts Scored: 373
Pts Allowed: 331 Off. Yds/G: 341.4 Def. Yds/G: 355.1
Give/Take: +7
4. Browns (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/CLE) 2006: 4-12 http://images.sportsline.com/images/nfl/features/helmets/CLE.gif (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/CLE) Pts Scored: 238
Pts Allowed: 356 Off. Yds/G: 264.6 Def. Yds/G: 344.8
Give/Take: -15

By Pete Prisco (http://www.sportsline.com/columns/writers/prisco)
CBSSports.com Senior Writer



http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10331205

StlersGuy
09-04-2007, 10:45 PM
I have the AFC North looking like this

Steelers 11-5
Bungals 9-7
Ratbirds 9-7
Clowns 6-10

SteelersWoman
09-05-2007, 01:56 AM
This kinda shocks me--Pete Prisco doesn't normally give us a whole lot of respect.

GoBenGo
09-05-2007, 12:50 PM
:jump1:All The Pieces Are There!:jump1:
The season begins with :brownssuck:, :postal:
GET 'EM BOYS!!

JB 67
09-05-2007, 07:52 PM
We pay the Ravens back big time this year

BlitzburghRockCity
09-05-2007, 08:32 PM
This kinda shocks me--Pete Prisco doesn't normally give us a whole lot of respect.

I know right, you think maybe somebody put some happy juice in his coffee mug or something :dunno:

StlersGuy
09-05-2007, 08:38 PM
We pay the Ravens back big time this year

:tt02::plus1::ratbirdssuck:

BBG7
09-05-2007, 08:42 PM
I know right, you think maybe somebody put some happy juice in his coffee mug or something :dunno:

I've been reading this Ravens board today...and they were pretty pissed because Prisco usually favors them, but they also didn't seem as confident in their team after preseason. Hell a few of them have us winning the division and them a wildcard in the playoffs.

StlersGuy
09-05-2007, 08:47 PM
I've been reading this Ravens board today...and they were pretty pissed because Prisco usually favors them, but they also didn't seem as confident in their team after preseason. Hell a few of them have us winning the division and them a wildcard in the playoffs.

:eyecrazy: I think someone needs a spanking :greengrin::hilarious::ratbirdssuck:

BBG7
09-05-2007, 08:52 PM
:eyecrazy: I think someone needs a spanking :greengrin::hilarious::ratbirdssuck:

hey I like traveling to other teams message boards to talk football and hear some different opinions. I'm still waiting to get activated over there, but the people there for the most part just talk football. I'm sure there is some bashing over there, but I have been impressed with what I have seen so far. OF COURSE...IT DOES NOT COME CLOSE TO THE GREAT FANS AND BOARD WE HAVE OVER HERE!!!

StlersGuy
09-05-2007, 09:00 PM
hey I like traveling to other teams message boards to talk football and hear some different opinions. I'm still waiting to get activated over there, but the people there for the most part just talk football. I'm sure there is some bashing over there, but I have been impressed with what I have seen so far. OF COURSE...IT DOES NOT COME CLOSE TO THE GREAT FANS AND BOARD WE HAVE OVER HERE!!! :bigthumb: now I will :cryrun: